Announcing our 2021 Young Writers’ Contest!

Spencertown Academy is pleased to offer its annual Young Writers’ Contest, open to high school students (including homeschool) in Columbia County, NY and Berkshire County, MA, grades 9-12. This also includes high school students residing in these counties during the 20-21 school year.

Works will be judged in an anonymous process by published authors and publishing professionals, volunteering their services for this contest.

A total of SIX prizes will be awarded, in two writing categories:

  • Fiction/Short Story: Three prizes of $250, $150 and $100
  • Nonfiction/Memoir or Personal Essay: Three prizes of $250, $150 and $100


  • Entry submissions will be accepted from Monday, March 1 through midnight, Monday, May 3rd, at: [email protected].
  • One entry per student. Select your own fiction or nonfiction topic. Submissions are limited to a maximum of 2,000 words. (Note that this year, the maximum length is reduced.)
  • All works must be submitted via email attachment, in unlocked document format, such as Word. Locked formats will be returned unread.
  • Work must be formatted in 12-pt type, double spaced, on standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ pages, with one inch margins.
  • Include a story or essay title on your document, and identify it as ‘Fiction’ or ‘Nonfiction’: NO personal identifying info on the document, please.
  • Include your name, address, school and grade, in the body of your email. A phone number is optional, but helpful.

Prizes will be awarded by the end of the 2021 school year. All winners will be invited to read from their work on a Zoom presentation event for friends and family. Additionally, First Prize winners may be invited to read live at our Festival of Books in the autumn, depending on state recommendations for public gatherings.

Questions? Contact us at [email protected]. Please use the words “Young Writers” in the subject line.

See our 2020 Winners Here

Fiction/Short Story

First Place: Taibat Ahmed, Taconic High School freshman, The Boy In The Clouds
Second Place: Piper Nayowith, Hudson High School senior, Malnoia
Third Place: Malina Jackson, Berkshire Waldorf High School freshman, A Part of Something Bigger

Nonfiction/Essay or Memoir

First Place: Alyssa Mowris, Chatham High School freshman, If Walls Could Talk
Second Place: Anthony Smith, Germantown School senior, How to Properly Waste Your Summer
Third Place: Rida Farsanza, Hudson High School senior, Borsa

Sponsored by the Spencertown Academy Art Center and Hawthorne Valley

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